Under Consideration

Templates for specific Timeline activities

  • 7 December 2016
  • 63 replies

Userlevel 7
Timeline is so juicy....I love it!

One idea that could really help to drive organizational consistency is the ability to define a template that would auto fill parts of the draft activity text. For example, instead of giving the user free rein to enter whatever, if there were some key data elements or formatting style that was important for consistency, have the template drop that text in automatically.

For example, a possible template for a customer meeting could be:

[i]Current health & trend:
[i]Action items:
  • [i]Item 1
  • [i]Item 2
  • [i]Notes, etc
[i]Next meeting scheduled:

63 replies

Userlevel 7
I love this idea, Dan! Do you see this as a separate thing or connected with the Activity layout (fields) -- Note template vs. Activity template?
Userlevel 7
So ideally, the more that could be used as specific fields (like we do with Internal and External attendees), the better. But some other data that is more free form text, would benefit from templates.

In a perfect world, I would like to see where each activity could have one or more template types. For example, a conference call meeting could be of type:
  • Standard monthly call (external)
  • Executive alignment (external)
  • Escalation meeting (internal or external)
  • New customer sales to service handoff (internal)
  • Project kickoff (external)
Each of these meetings could have slightly different theme elements that would need to be captured and standardized with a specific template type.
Userlevel 7
Thanks, Dan. Looks like there are two directions we could take here:
  1. Have a new Activity type for each of these -- gives them their own template, i.e., fields + free-text format suggestion
  2. Have one generic Activity type (meeting?) and have multiple sub-types/templates -- each variation serves a separate purpose like you mentioned
The benefit of #2 is that we won't have an explosion of core types.
Userlevel 7
Personally I'm a fan of #2 for the reasons you listed.
Userlevel 6
Yes! I just met with a customer who is looking for a way to create a template for an executive meeting briefing. The idea being that the CSM can create and share it with the exec in advance to help prep them for that engagement.

They want a template that can be filled in by the CSM but also pull in other key information automatically to save them time. Ideally, something they can export as a PDF to send this high level customer overview to the exec prior to their engagement.

We were trying to figure out the best way to come up with that in Gainsight and incorporate the Objectives from a Success Plan, as well as pull in certain other customer info, attributes.
Timeline came up as a great place for this doc to live, so it could be saved and as an activity and folks could reference it easily. We also talked to Nitisha about how this might possibly be built into Success Plans.  
Userlevel 3
I wanted to just post a quick note to this thread that we would also very much like to have the ability to create templates for different activity types such as Kick Off Call, QBRs and Account Transfers.

Any possibility that this product functionality has made its way to a future roadmap?
Userlevel 6
I just spoke with a customer yesterday who brought this up and is very interested in having the option to create a template (or multiple template options) by Activity type. So, say they have an Activity Type called "Renewal Engagement," the CSM would have fields to fill in which are specific to a renewal (status, likelihood, whatever), plus an area for additional notes (as currently exists).
Second this request.
Userlevel 7

This is on the roadmap but will be available post fall release. In the meantime, new fields can be created for an activity type to capture details like status, likelihood, etc.

I was just speaking with our Gainsight Solution Architect about this so am excited to hear you're considering it for the roadmap and potential fall release! We are always looking for new ways to gain efficiency and although the benefits of standardization are great, it would also save us a ton of time. Right now we are saving some templates in word for example and then copying and pasting and filling in, so if we could have preset sections or prompts that would be great.
Userlevel 3
It was mentioned about that this might be available post fall release - is that still a possibility and if so, is there any update on timing?
Userlevel 7

This is still on the roadmap but ETA is not yet decided.

I think I heard about this functionality on the webinar yesterday about coming in the winter release next month. Could you let us know if we will be able to report on different sections or words in a template we can tag? That would be amazing.
Userlevel 7
Hi Chuen,

This functionality is on our roadmap and will not be a part of winter release. We also shared the roadmap in the webinar and maybe you might have heard it in that context. I will update you once we have an ETA.

Userlevel 5
Another customer asked us for this today in our onsite, great feature request!
I have had two customers ask if we are thinking about this in the last couple of weeks. Glad it's on the roadmap! 
We are just starting to train our CSMs on Gainsight and Activity templates is one of their big requests!   They would want to be able to create their own personal templates.  Global templates would be of limited use.
We really have a need for templates on the timeline when we log calls, meetings, and updates.

It would be ideal if there was an option for customers to upload their own templates in Microsoft word, Excel, or One Note format.

OR- Another Option, for those using Microsoft Office Products would be to possible create a plug in to send to gainsight from One Note(this is what most people are probably documenting meeting summaries in currently).

Unfortunately, Timeline doesn't currently have as robust capabilities as other solutions.

Userlevel 7
Hi Emily, aside from Templates, what do you see as some capabilities that are missing in Timeline vs other solutions?

Timeline offers a bunch of powerful advantages over other note taking products so I'm very interested in the areas where you feel there are deficiencies. 

Some examples of capabilities that set Timeline apart from OneNote, Evernote, etc:
  • Online cloud based note taking with full cross team and function visibility - eases account transitions and coverage during PTO
  • Automatic sync to SFDC
  • Integrates with your contact database to accurate capture meeting attendees and ensure contact hygiene
  • Reportable and actionable - you can create dashboards driven on timeline entries and set scores or CTAs from data present or absent from activity entries
  • Create to-do actions in one step that appear in CSM's Cockpit for follow up
  • Email assist outgoing messages automatically are added to Timeline (and email sync from Outlook and Gmail coming soon)
  • Note taking on Account, Relationship or Task specific contexts that seamlessly integrate together.
  • and more!
Whew! That's a lot. But....we want to make Timeline even better, so your feedback is most valuable. 

Userlevel 7
I was just thinking this morning I wish there was a way to make Timeline faster to populate from within a CTA.  

When you have a CTA that is specifically for EBR, it feels a little redundant to have to also go into the Timeline link (from the CTA), click "Log a Meeting" enter a freetext subject, etc. in order to capture notes/attach a file.  It's like "why isn't there just a field in the task itself to add my notes with a direct 'Attach a file' link there?" 

This may seem nitpicky, but when you're a CSM supporting a lot of customers, every click counts.  

If we could extend the template idea to CTAs by perhaps creating a new Task Type that is Timeline, which an Admin can preformat with all the standard details/fields specific to that CTA and have that embedded in the Task, CSMs can just add a couple of notes, tag contact(s), etc that would automatically populate a Timeline entry, it would save a few clicks and make it feel less redundant
Userlevel 5
I know this comment isn't directed to me 🙂 but a couple other places where Timeline loses in comparison are things that already have feature requests but include: inability for anyone but the author to edit the activity and the inability for more than one person to write/edit an activity at the same time (a la Google Docs). Those are two huge deficiencies for our team, in addition to the templates.
This is an excellent callout Jen. We change CSMs on accounts here and some of our timeline entries are updates that others my need to update. I can see the multi logging if two people on the call being useful as well.
Userlevel 6
I love this template idea!! We're training 50+ CSMs soon and they'll be in Gainsight by June! HAving a template when logging an activity will help them save time AND help unify notes and maintain consistency with all our CSMs and notes!

It would be AWESOME to have this template available when logging an activity on the Timeline and when logging an Activity from the Timeline tab on an Objective! 🙂
+1 to option 2!
I LOVE the idea of having a "Timeline" task type where the task in itself is an activity log.